New Delhi: A leaked audio recording of senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, where he could be heard saying that the party could “relook” the revocation of Article 370, has triggered a row with the BJP.
The recording was part of a conversation on the application Clubhouse, where Singh was answering a question by a Pakistani journalist. Clubhouse is an invite-only audio chat room app.
“Democracy was not there in Kashmir when they revoked Article 370, ‘insaniyat’ (humanity) was not there as they had put everyone behind bars. Meanwhile, ‘Kashmiriyat’ is something that is the fundamentals of secularism. Because in a Muslim-majority state there was a Hindu king and both worked together. In fact, the reservation in Kashmir was given to Kashmiri Pandits, therefore, the decision of revoking Article 370 and reducing the statehood of J&K, is a sad decision. And the Congress party will certainly have to relook at this issue,” Singh said in the audio.
After the audio leaked on social media, several BJP leaders began attacking Singh for his comment.
Amit Malviya, head of BJP’s IT cell, shared the recording on Twitter and said: “In a Club House chat, Rahul Gandhi’s top aide Digvijaya Singh tells a Pakistani journalist that if Congress comes to power they will reconsider the decision of abrogating Article 370… Really?”
In a Club House chat, Rahul Gandhi’s top aide Digvijaya Singh tells a Pakistani journalist that if Congress comes to power they will reconsider the decision of abrogating Article 370…
Really? यही तो पाकिस्तान चाहता है… pic.twitter.com/x08yDH8JqF
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 12, 2021
Similarly, in a press conference Saturday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Digvijaya ji thanks that journalist on such a question and says that if Modi ji removes from power and Congress government comes then he will re-establish Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (sic).”
Meanwhile, Singh retorted to the criticism on Twitter and said: “Illiterates cannot understand the difference between shall and consider.”
अनपढ़ लोगों की जमात को
Shall और Consider में फ़र्क़
शायद समझ में नहीं आता।
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) June 12, 2021
BJP attacks Singh for his comment
Several other BJP leaders also condemned Singh’s comment.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Congress “must come to terms with abrogation of article 370”.
Instead of playing to the gallery across the border Congress must come to terms with abrogation of article 370.
was only in hands of ruling elite.
इंसानियत died when instigators of violence sent their own kids abroad & gave stones to children of common folk pic.twitter.com/KO2bRbNCZA
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) June 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Fisheries Minister Shandilya Giriraj Singh claimed that “Congress’s first love is Pakistan”.
Congress's first love is Pakistan.
Digvijay Singh conveyed Rahul Gandhi's message to Pakistan.
Congress will help Pakistan in grabbing Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/eYl3cnzYo0
— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) June 12, 2021
Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir its special status, was revoked on 5 August 2019
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.